February 23, 2012 / 8:31 AM / 7 years ago

BP plans maintenance work at Australian refineries in H1 - sources

SINGAPORE, Feb 23 (Reuters) - BP Plc will conduct maintenance work at its two Australian refineries in the first half of the year, two industry sources said.

BP operates the 137,000 barrels-per-day Kwinana refinery in Western Australia and the 101,000 bpd Bulwer Island refinery in Queensland. The Kwinana refinery is Australia’s largest.

“A turnaround has been planned for over the next three to four months, one of them is a full turnaround and the other is a unit turnaround for upgrading works,” one of the sources familiar with the matter said.

A second source said the maintenance work at both refineries is expected in the latter part of the first half of the year.

It was not known which refinery would be fully closed and which turnaround would be partial. The duration of the maintenance was not known either.

A BP spokesman declined to comment.

BP’s maintenance schedule follows Caltex Australia’s planned shutdown of a crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 109,000 bpd Lytton refinery in Brisbane for a month in the first half of the year.

Both companies have already secured their fuel supplies for this period, industry sources said.

The additional demand from Australia will likely provide some support for 10 ppm sulphur diesel premiums, which fell to their lowest levels this year on Wednesday at $2.15 a barrel to Singapore quotes, due to lack of pull from Europe.

Australia is one of the major buyers of 10 ppm sulphur diesel, with diesel usually purchased from Singapore and North Asia.

Jet fuel from BP’s Bulwer Island refinery is supplied to the Brisbane airport while LPG is delivered to a local terminal for distribution by truck, according to the company’s website.

The rest of the products are distributed within Queensland, with occasional shipments to Sydney, Newcastle and Antarctica.

The Kwinana refinery is the only refinery in Western Australia and supplies fuel to the region.

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